Down the rabbit hole of photography we learn to love light. We love the stumbled upon, natural light that inspires us to stop everything and take pictures. We love the light we create and control with our electronic flashes or other technology.
We love a little less the light that is neither inspiring nor controllable, but must be used to make pictures anyway. Actually, I love it a lot less. And I face it often, at dress rehearsals in community theater. Here are some examples from the Ojai Art Center Theater‘s upcoming production of The Odd Couple (Female Version).
During the publicity shoot, I could get on stage with my lights and a wide angle lens. At a rehearsal, I’m in the back of the theater with a 70-200 zoom most of the time, shooting at ISO 1600 and hoping the gels on the lights don’t make the colors unusable.
I do plenty of available light shooting, but a play rehearsal is a strange animal. The stage is very carefully lit – for an audience that won’t notice the shadows in real time. That doesn’t always translate to beautiful photos, but with an eye for opportunity and some judicious cropping, one can still produce pleasant lobby, publicity, and keepsake photos for the production.